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Showing posts from May, 2006

Hollywood’s Next 9/11 Venture

I can’t help but be excited, in spite of Oliver Stone’s reputation. The trailer for The World Trade Center makes it look like the movie just might be a simple “story of courage and survival”—without Stone’s usual conspiracy theory gimmicks. I hope so. It looks really good. And the use of music in the trailer (from Craig Armstrong’s original score) is powerful.

Fear/Fun Factor

First, there are a few things you need to know about me:

I’m scared of heights.My stomach doesn’t like long and sudden drops.I don’t usually put the words “vertigo” and “fun” in the same sentence. It might not surprise you, then, that I’m as enthusiastic about roller coasters as I am about having a two-ton boulder tied to my ankles and thrown over a cliff.

Well, last Saturday, some of us from work went to Dollywood. I had never been to Dollywood before and, to be completely honest, never had any inclination to go. (When you grow up going to Disneyland at least once a year, everything else kinda pales in comparison.) But I love hanging out with my coworkers and this seemed like a fun extracurricular activity.

After I agreed to go, I found out there are some roller coasters at Dollywood, which made me a little apprehensive. Everyone kept talking about how fun they were. I wasn’t so sure. I’ve only been to Six Flags once; I rode three rides then decided to go home. Granted, not all roller c…

OVER THE HEDGE (2006)

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Over the Hedge far exceeded my expectations. Based on the trailers, I was anticipating a plot-less connection of juvenile skits with sub-par animation. I discovered something far different.

The plot may be simple but it is highly engaging. The humor is abundant and consistently clever. The animation is exceptional. In short, this is the closest any studio has come to duplicating the masterful storytelling of Pixar.

The highlight performance is Steve Carell as Hammy the squirrel. His character is outlandishly hilarious—especially in the climactic sequence. There are many other funny characters and situations, but Hammy steals every scene he’s in. I can’t remember the last movie in which I laughed as hard as I did in this one.

What’s more, Rupert Gregson-Williams’ score is amazingly delightful. The largely orchestral and vocal ensemble fits well with the thematic elements of wild animals and their natural habitat. I’ll be picking up the score CD as soon as I can.

Pixar is still the king of …

The Da Vinci Code “Other-cott”

Barbara Nicolosi is a Christian screenwriter in Hollywood with a solid head on her shoulders. Her proposal to the Christian community for this weekend? Other-cott The Da Vinci Code. Yes, that’s “other-cott”—not “boycott.” Boycotting the movie only gives it free publicity. Simply not going to see the movie makes no difference. Going to see the movie is, in essence, financially supporting a blatant attack on Christ and His Church. What does have the potential to make a difference is for Christians to go see an alternate movie this Friday (or, at the very least, sometime this weekend). The one family-oriented film being released is Over the Hedge.

Believers went in droves to financially support The Passion of the Christ and it became one of the ten highest grossing films of all time. If these same believers go see Over the Hedge on Friday, The Da Vinci Code’s opening weekend will be a huge financial disappointment. Check out the link above, or go directly to the official other-cott websit…

A Mother's Day Tribute

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Mom with Chloe (my niece)


On this Mother’s Day, I wanted to take the opportunity to brag on my mom. There are a lot of things I could say about her, but for now I’ll narrow it down to just three.

She is a woman of genuine love. She is far from perfect, but her love for me has been constant. You could even say my mother is my best friend. She is sweet and gentle. She constantly edifies others and rarely resorts to teasing. I, on the other hand, am prideful and sarcastic. Mom hates sarcasm with a passion. You do the math. And yet my mother’s love for me has been constant throughout my entire life. Why she loves me so much, I have no stinking clue. Our family has been through a lot together, but that doesn’t totally explain it; I’m not all that lovable. It all points back to God: Mom’s genuine love shows that Christ’s redemptive work is resulting in much fruit.

She is a woman of perseverance. My mother has dealt with a myriad of physical ailments her entire life. Whether or not she is heal…

UNITED 93 (2006) – Film Review (Part 2)

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I remember visiting the Filmtracks ScoreBoard (a message board for film score enthusiasts) as the attack on our country took place on September 11th. Going back to the messages we posted during that time, I am reminded of the shock, fear, and anger that engulfed not only those of us in the United States, but those around the world as well. Even in the midst of the confusion and unanswered questions, we seemed to understand something better then than we do now: we are at war. Everyone was saying it—liberal, conservative, religious, atheist, whatever.

At one point in the film, Ben Sliney, head of the FAA’s National Air Traffic Control Center (who plays himself in the movie), says, “We’re at war with someone.” This war is something many in the United States are choosing to ignore—and it is one reason why I am thankful for United 93.

The common phrase used today is, “We are at war with terror,” but that sidesteps the real issue. Andrew C. McCarthy comments on the events of 9/11 (in a spee…

UNITED 93 (2006) – Film Review (Part 1)

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If I had to pick one category in which United 93 is most deserving of an Oscar, I would say it is Best Director. Regardless of its future favor (or lack thereof) with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts, United 93 will stand the test of time because of one factor: writer/director Paul Greengrass approached this project with no political agenda. He desired to tell the story in a way that was faithful to the facts and that honored the memory of the heroic passengers onboard Flight 93. This film could have been the springboard for manipulative proselytizing. Instead, it thrives on its greatest asset: sincere objectivity.

Not everything is factual. Much of the dialogue was improvised, and we obviously don’t know many details about those last horrible minutes before the plane crashed into the ground. But through a painstaking process, the filmmakers pieced together what we do know and filled in the blanks as best they could. Greengrass contacted all the families of those who died on Flight …